As Muslims, of course we are familiar with the word “taqwa”. By definition, taqwa is imtithâlu awâmirillâh wajtinâbu nawâhîhi (execute all commands of Allah as much as we are able and avoid His prohibitions).
As taught by some scholars (`ulamâ’), taqwa in Arabic consists of four letters, namely:
· ت(tawâdu`) means humility. Besides tawâdu` can also mean tadarru` which means the same that humble themselves before Allah and courtesy toward others
· ق (qanâ`ah) means to accept with gratitude all the gifts of Allah
· و (wara`) means leaving the suspicious things (shubhât) and not beneficial
· ي (yaqîn) means to believe wholeheartedly in Allah
In kitâb “Ta`lîm al-Muta`allim” there is a poem about humility, which reads:
إِنَّ التَّوَاضُعَ مِنْ خِصَالِ الْمُتَّقِي * وَبِهِ التَّقِيُّ إِلىَ الْمَعَالِى يَرْتَقِي
Indeed, humility is one of the characteristics of people who fear of Allah
With it, the cautious (muttaqiy) achieve the degree of glory
The Prophet Muhammad sallallâhu `alayhi wasallam also has commanded us to always be humble. In a hadith he said:
إِنَّ اللهَ أَوْحَى ِإلَيَّ أَنْ تَوَاضَعُوْا حَتَّى لاَ يَفْخَرَ أَحَدٌ عَلَى أَحَدٍ وَلاَ يَبْغَى أَحَدٌ عَلَى أَحَدٍ
Allah, the Most High has revealed to me that you (people) should be humble, so that no one transgresses another, or boasts to the other. (Related by Muslim)
In another hadith, the Prophet sallallâhu `alayhi wasallam remind the guarantee that a humble person would be ennobled by Allah.
مَازَادَ اللهُ عَبْدًا ِبعَفْوٍ إِلاَّ عِزًّا وَمَا تَوَاضَعَ أَحَدٌ لِلّٰهِ إِلاَّ رَفَعَهُ اللهُ
Allah increases the honor of him who forgives and no one will humble himself for Allah’s sake except that Allah raises his status. (Related by Muslim)
مَنْ تَوَاضَعَ لِلّٰهِ رَفَعَهُ اللهُ وَمَنْ تَكَبَّرَ وَضَعَهُ اللهُ
One who is humble because of Allah, then Allah raises his status; and who is arrogant, Allah dissipates him. (Related by Abu Nu`aim)
الْكَرَمُ التَّقْوَى وَالشَّرَفُ التَّوَاضُعُ وَالْيَقِيْنُ الْغِنَى
Generosity is piety, glory is tawâdu` and the belief is wealth. (Related by Hakim and Ibnu Abi Dunya)
When asked about the meaning of tawâdu` (humble), al-Fudhayl answered, “You are subject to truth and obedient to him. Although you hear from a child, you continue to receive it. Even though you hear from the biggest fool, you still have it.”
Humility is the first requisite if we are to achieve the degree of a piety human being.
Humility is the culmination of believer’s character, is humble to Allah, The Owner of life.
Humility may not be achieved only by knowledge, must be accompanied by deeds.
Humility in terms of knowledge is easy to learn, but the implementation requires a long time, can be annual.
Humility can imitate Prophet sallallâhu `alayhi wasallam because he is the most cautious person in the entire universe. In fact, angels respect to him because he is so precious degrees in the sight of Allah Subhânahû Wa Ta`âlâ. Prophet Muhammad sallallâhu `alayhi wasallam praised by Allah as a creature with a very commendable morals and granted as a lover of Allah (habîbullâh).
In a poetry `Aidh al-Qarni expressed his praise to the Prophet sallallâhu `alayhi wasallam:
Who’s coming to the door of your house, do not stop body
talks about the grace that you give
Eye tells about the joy, the hand about brotherhood,
heart about tenderness, ear about goodness
By God, your words flowed like honey
Or are you actually been pouring honey on our lips
Or strands of meaning that you express
I see the jewels and emeralds delivered
If it is felt by the dying, his spirit will be captured
And if it is seen by whom on shoreline, will be remedied longing
The scholars (`ulamâ’) explained that humility must-have in any condition and level (position). When we still have not become anything (learning phase), we are like a grain plants. Plant seeds in the ground. When placed on the ground, feared easy for animals to eat or swept away by the wind.
When we tried to reach the top, it’s like climbing a mountain. To make it easier to climb, then the body we have to bend forward and eyes downward. Have we ever seen a mountaineer walking and straightened up, threw her head back and puffed up? The more we climb a steep path, we are increasingly ducked, even edging. Is not it basically rock climbing is done by crawling?
When already at the top, humble still have to adorn ourselves. The wind certainly blows faster when we are in peak condition. In order to survive and even go ahead despite the wind is so great, then we have to walk with a bow. Increasingly strong winds, meaning our bodies increasingly bent even creep.
`Aidh al-Qarni, Dr, “Nikmatnya Hidangan Al-Qur’an (`Alâ Mâidati Al-Qur’ân)—Indonesian translation”, Maghfirah Pustaka, Cetakan Kedua: Januari 2006
Az-Zarnuji, ash-Sheikh, “Ta`lîm al-Muta`allim”
Djamal’uddin Ahmad Al Buny, “Mutu Manikam dari Kitab Al-Hikam (authored by Sheikh Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Ibnu Athaillah)”, Mutiara Ilmu Surabaya, Cetakan ketiga: 2000
I. Solihin, Drs, “Terjemah Nashaihul Ibad (authored by Sheikh Nawawi al-Bantani)”, Pustaka Amani Jakarta, Cetakan ke-3 1427H/2006
Muhammad bin Ibrahim Ibnu `Abbad, ash-Sheikh, “Sharah al-Hikam”